By Will Butcher
Aston Villa winger Adama Traore is set for an instant return to the Premier League with promoted outfit Middlesbrough.
The Birmingham Mail claim the former Barcelona man travelled to Teeside on Tuesday night, and is set to undergo a medical as manager Aitor Karanka looks to secure a deal before Wednesday’s 11pm deadline.
Traore, 20, joined Villa from Barcelona for £7million last summer but struggled in his first top-flight campaign in England, making just 11 appearances for the Midlands club in all competitions.
Spain under-19 international Traore has made just one appearance for Roberto Di Matteo’s side this season, making a substitute appearance during Villa’s comfortable 3-0 win against Rotherham.
Traore, who is a product of the famed La Masia youth system in place at Barcelona, has failed to establish a decent reputation among fans with many believing Villa’s number 20 to be a waste of money.
The Sun report that Traore has cost a staggering £2.34million per hour of football since arriving at Villa from the Nou Camp last summer. He was handed a staggering £60,000-a-week contract as part of the move, which was set to rise to £100,000-a-week if the club avoided relegation.
Middlesbrough have been busy this summer, as former Real Madrid assistant manager Karanka looks to keep the Teeside club in the Premier League.
Karanka has confirmed 10 new signings, with the latest being Arsenal defender Calum Chambers. He signs on loan, as does former Manchester City hitman Alvaro Negredo.
Goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Victor Valdes joined on free transfers, along with Bernardo Espinosa and Gaston Ramirez. Martin de Roon has signed from Atalanta for around £12.75m, while Karanka has also signed Viktor Fischer, Fabio and Antonio Barragan for a combined £7.5million.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, this midfield target could be moving the opposite way from Middlesbrough to Aston Villa.